ecAmp Dinosaur Island
Keep it clean
Mark Songhurst takes a nostalgic trip to the Pondwell campsite on the Isle of Wight and goes in search of the island’s Jurassic past
Guyrope Gourmet, Josh Sutton, digs into his past life in the Damascus to bring a special Middle Eastern treat to the campsite
Bird mess, honeydew and resin are things you want to get off your tent – fast! We look at ways to do this safely
Read more on page 4
Read more on page 5
Read more on pages 6-7
e e-cAmp magazine September 2013
ecAmp magazine ecAmp Magazine
INNOVATIVE FAMILY CAMPING
ecAmp Magazine ecAmp magazine WIN WIN WIN It’s an editor’s favourite and we have two versatile Baffin table/stools up for grabs. Check out the competition on page 8
Our very own Outwell camper
lthough an agricultural college dropout I still love this time of year. The fields are a hive of activity as farmers work all hours to harvest the fruits of their labours. Colours change from gold to brown to green as crops are cut, fields ploughed and fresh growth continues the food production cycle. Farmers are a self-sufficient bunch apparently able to solve all maintenance issues with hammer, knife and bailing twine – size and length dependent on the problem. And this set me thinking. While a camper is anyone who uses a temporary dwelling can you really don the mantle of an experienced camper unless you understand the tools of the trade and know how to use them in all conditions? I would also encourage anyone with a love for the outdoors to strive to empathise with their surroundings and learn the skill base needed for outdoor living. Besides an understanding of the environment that helps you choose the right tools for the job (say, tent pegs or storm guys) it is worth considering that while we enjoy the simple pleasures of camping
life it can have a profound effect on the communities that welcome us into their area. The delights of eating and drinking locally produced products certainly help the country community. It is our desire to improve your camping experience through good food while supporting local economies that led us to sponsor Guyrope Gourmet. Josh actively spreads the message – including via his cookbook. As does the Camping and Caravanning Club through its long and ongoing Eat Local project that we also support. Communities aside, not only does the great outdoors provide us with a great deal of enjoyment and peace but, at Outwell, we also recognise we owe it our livelihood. We feel that we have a moral duty to protect and sustain the environment that provides us so much so we have joined other major manufacturers as members of the European Outdoor Conservation Organisation (EOCA). The charity provides an efficient way to dispense financial support, to educate and to inform, thus ensuring member resources provide optimum impact when preserving our ecosystems for present and future generations. You can read more about EOCA at outdoorconservation.eu and we hope to find ways that we can all actively engage in various projects. So let’s all look, listen, learn and help. Then we will all become better campers who have a positive impact on our surroundings and fellow campers we meet on the way.
3 Meet the fans
Clive Garrett Editor
We meet Julie Peapell from Swindon
3 Open Air John Traynor takes us on an off-beat ramble through an outdoor writer’s camping life
4 Site reviews Pondwell – the perfect base from which to explore Dinosaur Island
5 Cooking with Outwell Guyrope Gourmet brings us a taste of Syria on a plate
6 Technical feature From bird mess to tree sap – we consider ways to remove those little presents that Mother Nature deposits
7 Q&A of the month It’s rare but it does happen – coating delamination through hydrolysis
8 Image of the month Your pics tell a story
8 Competition Your chance to win a superb and versatile Baffin table!
Issue: September 2013 Editor Clive Garrett firstname.lastname@example.org Publisher Lotte Simonsen email@example.com Design Kaja Damgaard Please note, email addresses are for editorial use only – product related emails should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org Copyright © 2013 Oase Outdoors ApS. All Rights Reserved. Use of information, content and images only by written approval from the editor or publisher. The views expressed by contributors are not necessarily those of Oase Outdoors. Every care is taken to ensure that the content of this magazine is accurate, but we assume no responsibility for any affect from errors or omissions. While every care is taken with unsolicited material submitted for publication we cannot be responsible for loss or damage.
Harvest time – and great weather for campers 2 e-cAmp magazine September 2013
meet the fans
Ah, sweet… Not only is Julie Peapell (seen here left with here daughter, Courtney-Jane) a sweet person but her business is all about sweet displays – and the Outwell Camping Club (OCC) has benefited from her expertise on a number of occassions when her tasty creations have been enjoyed by adults and kids alike! She is a keen camper and makes many an OCC rally when time allows.
any campers will appreciate Julie’s reasons for camping. She just loves it! “Quality time spent with friends and family in the outdoors – it’s just so relaxed,” she tells us. Julie is an experienced camper and had tried many different brands before choosing Outwell. “Other well known brands had failed on us so we decided to try an Outwell before resorting to a caravan. Best decision we ever made! We cannot fault the brand’s quality in any way and find you can trust what it says on the packet.” Julie now has a number of Outwell tents but her particular favourite is her Lanai Reef. “It’s sunny all day inside – the colour is great,” she tells us, “The tent is spacious for two and the ability to add an
The Lanai Reef is an ideal touring tent for Julie – especially as she likes to snatch those weekends away. Easy to use and sunny inside the tent immediately gets a camping trip off to a good start no matter the weather. And it is hard to beat the polycotton experience. Check out our Sun Collection online at outwell.com
extension for longer trips or entertainment is a great bonus. Being polycotton, it’s warm when you need it and surprisingly cool on hot, summer days. “It also erects and packs down easily and quickly – perfect for last minute weekend trips.” Julie regularly stays at Manor Meadows, Fordingbridge – a basic summer-only site with minimal facilities and price tag to match. “The family cannot do enough for you,” she enthuses, “Baguettes in the morning, free ice-pack exchange, camp fire baskets and wood available. “And being next to the New Forest and its closeto-nature walks, with great local pubs and good food also within walking distance, with the town and river nearby, we find the location
of the site is simply superb.” Walking is important to Julie and is her favourite camping activity. She loves to leave the car on the campsite. After that it is talking to friends and family – no wonder her Outwell pitcher and glasses are a favourite accessory! We asked Julie what camping tips she would give someone just starting out camping. She says: “I would say spend your money on what you need, not what you think you want. And a good quality tent should be at the top of the list. “And research your site and the area before you book. Nothing worse than being disappointed with your site and then finding that the information was readily available to help choice. “And, finally, have fun, relax and enjoy the camping experience! You’ll love it”
John Traynor with an outdoor writer’s ramble through camping life. Follow John on Twitter @jtopenair
his summer’s heatwave reminded me that camping is the freedom of embracing the great outdoors – a precious experience that proves warmth isn’t just about temperature. The physical benefits of an active life are easy to see but not so the emotional pluses that accrue through family camping. Life’s daily routine can easily dull our senses and blunt family relationships. But you can overcome this – just relax and open up to your surroundings. The obvious include time together away from life’s distractions, sharing activities rather than living parallel lives. Not so obvious are the extra dimensions that the vastness, sounds and scents of the countryside can deliver. From birdsong to fresh-mown grass, we can share more immediate experiences that have nothing to do with chasing a football. It’s about being rather than doing. Indeed, being together inside a tent is a unique experience. The fabric smell, its noise in a breeze, the close contact with the ground… all create a more direct and personal time that can ever be matched by bricks and mortar. And it complements the outdoors – especially when it’s raining! So, next camp, make some time to sit quietly and savour the full range of sensory feedback that helps to make camping unique. Gently share with your children the variety of sounds and scents that can waft across the site. Such quiet time makes the most of precious family moments that last long after the holiday is over. Of course, they often crumble in the face of excess energy bringing about pandemonium underpinned by chaos. But that’s fun, too. And, if it gets too much, there are always earplugs and eyemasks to hide behind. Shame though.
Above: Cheerful and eye-catching – the Lanai Reef is a firm favourite
September 2013 e-cAmp magazine 3
A Wight good site The Isle of Wight was often a childhood family holiday destination for Mark Songhurst and fond memories through rose-tinted spectacles gave him a yearning to go back. From the moment he called to book a pitch at Pondwell and was told that after 20 years things had not changed much he tells us he knew he was on to a winner.
Above: The local. Left: Site shop sells basic essentials. Far left: The camping area gently slopes. Bottom left: Open tent area.
The site his is a forgotten holiday campsite on the Isle of Wight, with none of the modern entertainment facilities of many of the island’s other campsites and not in what many would consider a prime location. Thus it’s a wonderful quiet family site. Pondwell is spacious with large 10m x 10m pitches and only five to ten minutes walk from the beach, so ideal for large family camping Outwell style.
Seaview Holidays Limited Salterns Road Seaview Isle of Wight PO34 5AQ Web: seaviewisleofwight.co.uk Tel: 01983 612330 Facilities • Electric and non-electric pitches • Chemical disposal points • Toilets and showers 4 e-cAmp magazine September 2013
When we visited we found the site a little dated but in the process of being modernised, for example, new boilers to ensure endless hot water. But do not let this put you off – some may consider Pondwell dated but it is definitely clean! And the large, well spaced electric pitches and open gently sloping camping area to the charm. Not to forget that there is a gate to the pub situated just off the site. The small site shop stocks basic essentials and the service from the staff makes your holiday so much easier. The area Situated on the island’s east coast the site is a 30-minute walk along the coast from the centre of Ryde and there is plenty to do on the Island. • Beaches at Sandown, Shanklin and Ryde. • Take a hovercraft trip to Southsea and Portsmouth. • Visit the model village a Godshill. • • • • • • • •
Baths Washing-up facilities Pub on site Children’s play area Site shop sells basics Laundrette TV room 24-hour security
Tourism Information Web: isleofwight.com Tel: 01983 813818
• Travel across the island to visit the Needles – lots of attractions. • Explore some of the island’s small towns and villages. • Visit the botantical gardens at Ventnor. • The Seaview Wildlife Encounter is just a short walk from the site. • Sample wines from the islands vineyards. • Enjoy a walk in the countryside and keep an eye open for a Red Squirrel. Eating out The Wishing Well does good quality meals and is a friendly environment where locals and holiday makers can mingle. I hope anyone who goes in there finds the same warm welcome we did and that it too will become your ‘local’ whilst on the island. In addition there are restaurants in Seaview and the Boat House near Puckpool Park does beautiful fresh food sourced locally. Eat local The Island is covered with small villages and shops, place to try that are different are the Garlic Farm and the Taverners at Godshill, where local people exchange produce from their gardens for beer tokens – my kind of deal. Did you know? The island is known as the Dinosaur Isle and our dinosaurexpeditions.co.uk was fantastic and we even found fossils!
The taste of Syria
Shoppin g list Lamb st ginger an ew with shred ded d fennel
Ingredie nts – S erves fo ur: ✓ 500g fresh la mb neck ✓ One la fillets rge onio n ✓ Table spoon o live oil ✓ Four garlic c loves ✓ One la rge aube rgine ✓ Half bulb fen n e l ✓ 100g f resh ro ot ginge ✓ One t r (Child ine of c ’s hand hopped size) tomatoe or whole s plum ✓ One t in of ch ickpeas ✓ One t easpoon whole c ✓ One t umin se ablespo eds on who ✓ One T le coria ablespo nder see o n ds whole f ✓ Half ennel se a finely eds chopped ✓ Sea s dried red alt and chilli ground ✓ Bunch black pe of fres pper h corian der
As a student, I had the good fortune to live in Damascus for a year. Syria is a fascinating country and throughout my stay there I was introduced to a host of wonderful dishes. Lamb stew was a staple, available in almost every good restaurant or cafe. Though variations abound, the flavours of fresh coriander and ground cumin were always apparent. The addition of ginger and fennel sets this dish in its own league. This is now a regular for me on a campsite (as well as at home) and it really is worthwhile using the whole spice seeds rather than ready ground. If you don’t have a pestle and mortar you can always wrap the seeds in a tea towel and bash ‘em up with a heavy stick. Young lamb works best for this recipe, as you don’t have to simmer it for hours on the stove! And Welsh lamb is renowned for its quality and tenderness, but I suppose any good farmer would argue that his or her sheep are the best around.
rush the cumin and fennel seeds in a pestle and mortar, and then add the coriander seeds. Grind the lot so that there are no whole seeds remaining (sawdust is what you are after rather than a fine powder). Cut the neck fillets into 2cm chunks and place in a bowl with the crushed seeds. Give it a good mix round with your hand to make sure every piece of meat is coated with the spices. Finely chop the onion. Heat the olive oil in a large stockpot, add the chopped onion and cook over a low heat until the onion begins to take on a little colour. Add the chopped garlic, turn up the heat a little and add the chopped chilli and the meat. Brown the meat on all sides. Chop the aubergine into 2cm chunks and add this to the meat mixture and stir. Turn the heat down and add the tin of tomatoes with a little water, season to taste and cover the pan with a lid. Simmer gently for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the drained tin of chickpeas together with the peeled and coarsely grated ginger and the coarsely grated fennel. Cook for a further ten minutes, add the chopped fresh coriander, stir in and remove from heat. Let stand for two or three minutes before serving. This dish goes well with couscous.
This delicious recipe is taken from the new Guyrope Gourmet cookbook, published by Punk Publishing with our support. And you can support the author by purchasing your signed copy from the Guyrope Gourmet website here. We would love to hear from all budding Guyrope Gourmets and share your recipes with other Outwell campers in e-cAmp magazine – just send them with a few images to email@example.com
September 2013 e-cAmp magazine 5
Spot problems A
tent is your outdoor home and, as such, is subject to all sorts of abuse. And it is often Mother Nature who hurls a spanner or two into the smooth running cogs of camping life. Forget wind and rain, a question we’re often asked is how do you shift bird droppings and tree sap. Well, we’ve got some suggestions… with which it comes into contact. Remember, it gets stickier and more liquid the warmer it is – and think how hot your car gets when left in the sun while you grab a bite to eat on the trip home. Our official advice is to spot clean using our own Clean Guard before reproofing the area with our Water Guard treatment – again, something for the tent First Aid kit? But many Outwell campers have asked if there are other ways to deal with the problem using everyday items that are readily available on the campsite.
Above: Birds are lovely to watch around a campsite’s feeding station but can relieve themselves of that heavy meal on a most inopportune place – your tent! e’ve all experienced that moment when we stand back to admire our neatly pitched pride and joy only to discover that one of our avian friends has used it for target practice. The expletives often accurately describe the subject matter… Bird excreta is a nasty mix of faeces and urine. It’s not the best combination to land on your tent but easily removed by brushing off when dry or gently washing away with mild ph-neutral soapy water before swilling well. A good tent cleaner can also be brought into play if you’re carrying one in your tent First Aid kit (see last month’s e-cAmp) but rarely necessary. Reproof? Only if that soap has stripped off the external Durable Water Repellent (DWR) finish - again, rare with a phneutral soap but a detergent will.
In a mess However, the real pain is tree sap. This tends to fall into two categories: that awful conifer resin that smells delightful yet spreads mayhem like napalm, and a sticky substance often mistaken for tree sap – the aphid’s wax-based defensive honeydew much loved by ants. The latter creates a splattering effect of tacky dirty rain that looks a disaster. But you’ll often find it easily washes off if treated like bird mess. Heavy rain can also clean it away. Resin is more serious. Under the spotlight What am I saying – spotlight! This is something that you do not want to do for resin becomes a sticky mess if heated – even by the sun. The temptation is to scrape the worse away using something like the edge of a credit card but this can spread the problem. You could leave to dry before trying to crack it off but by then it will be hard to separate from the outer’s fibres. Of course, if left to deal with when you get home the chances are, unless liberally sprinkled with talc, it will adhere to any part of the tent 6 e-cAmp magazine September 2013
To the workshop We asked Outwell campers for ideas on how to shift resin. I then went shopping for the raw materials before cutting up an old synthetic tent and contaminating the swatches with larch resin. I then attempted to clean off the resin – noting ease of use, effectiveness, residual staining, DWR removal and, importantly, damage to the underlying PU-coating. I was unable to test polycotton or cotton at this stage. First, let’s be clear. These tests are not sanctioned by Outwell or represent an official line. Why? We already provide the above advice to deal with this problem and it is proven not to damage the tent fabric. OK, chances are you’ll need to spot reproof the tent where the DWR finish is damaged but it will not affect the underlying PU-coating – unlike some of the home-grown solutions tried here. When approached only Storm out of the UK’s three big waterproofing specialists could readily provide the knowledge and tools to remove resin – and on both cotton and synthetics. Its fabric cleaners are created not to affect a DWR finish and, if reproofing is required, it has a good portfolio of easily applied stain-free waterproofing treatments. Three degrees I looked at three ways to remove resin. First I tried physically scraping and peeling the resin away. The former just spread the problem while any attempt to freeze it in order to peel away proved fruitless. Dusting with talc helped prevent stickiness and proved a way to help rub off resin but it still left residue that had found its way between fibres. Mild abrasives, like bicarbonate of soda, had limited success over time. The second method was to try and dissolve the resin and this is a tricky area – solvents tend to delaminate the PU-coating and detergents will remove the DWR finish. Cleaners based on natural products, like citrus, proved ineffective. While most solvents dissolved the resin they also spread it around the fabric where it remained once the solvents evaporated unless washed away using soapy water. Finally, oil. This not only lifts resin from the fibres but also negates stickiness. But which one to use? All seem to work – some better than others. However, residual staining can be left by impurities although this can be often removed with soapy water and a good swill. In all instances during my trial the DWR coating had to be renewed. My top three oily products proved to be smooth peanut butter, mayonnaise (full fat, what else?) and, believe it or not, the fish-oil based WD40 – although the additional chemicals in WD40 left a stain. My conclusions? Forget the old wives’ tales and pack our tent cleaner unless you’re not fussed about potential tent damage!
The DWR was checked prior to testing (1), swatches cut (2) and resin applied (3). Methods were tried to remove the resin immediately (4) and over time (5). The DWR was then rechecked.
Time to share those tips that you find help improve camping life! Each month we publish a few from our postbag so drop us a line and help spread the knowledge... All emails to firstname.lastname@example.org
Relieve the stress of pitching by taking regular breaks and involve the kids by, say, unwrapping the guylines. Nicholas Whelan Birmingham
Encourage kids to speak in their ‘Camping Voice’ if early risers. Shhhush! Victoria McCausland by Facebook
Use solar lights to highlight your corner guys so you don’t trip over them at night. Pam Holland by Facebook
Fill a slim line A4 Really Useful Box of art stuff for children to play with on rainy days. Sophie Outlaw by Facebook
Keep a good selection of pegs to suit all ground and weather conditions. Kathryn Whelan Wolverhampton
Baby oil limited success and messy so a big F Baby wipes failed Bicarbonate of soda limited success if left for a time Butter failed Citrus cleaner failed Coke Cola failed Hairspray detrimental to PU-coating Hand sanitizer limited result and, depending on brand, possible detrimental effect on the PUcoating so avoid Handwash limited success Isopropyl alcohol wipes detrimental to PU-coating Mayonnaise good result Meths keep it for the stove Nail Varnish Remover detrimental on PU-coating Peanut butter good result Pink Stuff failed Soap slow and partial success Surgical spirit failed Travel wash failed Turps substitute partial success but stains Water and washing-up liquid – partial success WD40 good result but stains Washing soda failed White vinegar failed Freezing and peeling failed Scraping failed These results do not represent official advice but do show how easy it is to even slightly damage the tent’s finish. In fact, chemical variations between brands may cause even more problems than those tested here. To stay safe use a proprietary tent cleaner.
q&a of the month Dear Outwell
Our tent has been in storage for some time so we have pitched it for inspection before camping. We have found a small patch of damage (right). It looks like the inner coating has stuck to another piece of material and then peeled off as we have pitched. Will this affect the water proofing? Do we need to repair this and if so what would you advise? Gordon Hold via Facebook Hi Gordon, lthough synthetic fabrics are considered rot-proof age and micro-biological deterioration caused by storage in damp conditions can accelerate hydrolysis – and this can lead to the coating sticking to itself. Gently part and sprinkle with talc to minimise tackiness. If the coating has detached from the base fabric – as here – this area is no longer waterproof. Do not despair. Thinly spread a tent glue, like McNett Seam Grip or Storm Seam Sealer, over the damaged area using a palette knife or similar. Allow to thoroughly dry before dusting with talc and packing away. You may find that you need to apply a waterproofing spray, such as our Water Guard, to the outer surface at the point of damage to re-enforce the DWR finish.
September 2013 e-cAmp magazine 7
image of the month
Wish you were here
huge volume of snaps featuring crowded car boots and neatly loaded trailers has born witness to the number of you out camping this month. And you have also been widely sharing the pitching experience and internal decor of your tents. However, it is the wide spread of Outwell campers around the world that never fails to surprise. And the pics really whet the apatite for some Continental travel, like Britta Brandenburg’s beach pitch (1) and Anne-Vibeke Isaksen stunning view (3). Must admit that Ged Hartshorn’s pic of Dutch electrics is a tad worrying though… I have to say that it is the pics that prove it’s not only humans who enjoy the camping experience. Just look at the grin on the face of Liz Kolvik’s pooch (4). It must be the weather for Julia Webb’s dog But my favourite image has to be the is flakers, too. Something I see mirrored in anniversary pic posted by Mike Gallagher, Kirsty Wootton’s pic of Mark… bless him. Romance is alive and kicking on the campsite. Canadian compliment We always love to see your camping pics We love our new Outwell tent. so please post them on Facebook or email The picture was taken our first them to me, Clive Garrett, at editorial@ night out in Alberta, Canada outwell.com – you could see them chosen as an e-cAmp Image of the Month. Remember Stephanie Melanson via Facebook to tell us the story that lies behind your pic.
The e-cAmp Image of the Month
Editor’s favourite up for grabs! Many of you will be familiar with the Baffin. It’s a really versatile piece of camping furniture much loved by the editor and his wife who have one each. Perfect for holding drinks etc by chair and bed.
good coffee table is a valuable camping asset and the Baffin is particularly versatile for it can also be used as an occasional stool, footrest and bedside table. And, as an added bonus, the wipe-clean table can be upturned to act as a tray. The lightweight Baffin measures 42cm x 42cm x 46cm open– the perfect size to complement Outwell seats. Its 9cm x 42cm x 60cm pack size makes it easy to transport and store. 8 e-cAmp magazine September 2013
The Baffin is a popular choice for many campers and two lucky readers can win a Baffin each in this month’s easy competition. For a chance to win this superb prize just visit the competition page on our website for details. The winners will be notified by email as soon as possible after the close date.